If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1 And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven. 5 And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground; 6 but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 18 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Moses is giving the Israelites his final teaching and advice before they enter the Promised Land. He is reminding them of all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on them from the time he rescued them from Egypt. Moses knows he will not be entering the Promised Land with them because he has displeased God. He also knows that it is important for them to remember these blessings so that they might remain faithful to the commandments. We know from reading Scripture that the Israelites did forget, did disobey, did not remain faithful to the commandments. Jesus commented that the Pharisees of his day obeyed the human laws more than God’s laws. What of us today? Do we keep the commandments? I have mentioned before, that many of us consider the commandments “suggestions” or commandments for only the time in which they were given. But think of the discord caused by dishonesty, greed and abuse of authority. Moses’ advice to the Israelites is just as true today as it was millennia ago. Following God’s law is just as important now as it was then. As we proceed through Lent, let us read again Moses’ address to the people in Deuteronomy.
This is not an easy commandment to live up to for any man. Any comparison to Jesus is one that we can never live up to, but should always be our goal. Love your wives as Jesus loved the church. She will certainly be a lucky woman!
Lord in Heaven, Jesus Christ, I am so lucky to be a member of your holy family. My only wish in this prayer is that I can create a family in your image, and love each member as you have loved me. Amen.
When we’re going through storms of life, hurricanes of emotion, and waves of wallowing, we need faith in God’s power in order to stay calm. God can still the storms and hush the hurricanes in our lives if we trust him and pour out our hearts to him.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Our human vocabularies are vast. Most adults know 20,000-35,000 words in their native language. Avid readers probably know substantially more. That’s a lot of words! But even with those vast vocabularies, there are moments when words elude us. Sometimes this happens when we pray. Sometimes our need is so great that we cannot find the words to express it in our own language. That is when the Holy Spirit steps in and intercedes for us. He searches our hearts and our minds and sees what we need. He translates that need directly to God, in a language that only God understands. In a sense, the Holy Spirit becomes a “code talker.” His transmission by-passes our human brain and his code–the “wordless groans”–is unintelligible to the Adversary. In this way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we don’t know how to help ourselves.
If we hang our hopes only on this temporary world, we are pitiful this world is full of disappointments. We are bound to be let down time and again when we place our hope only in this world that we live in. Everything on this earth will come to an end. Nothing here lasts. There has to be something more. Something greater than what we know in the here and now. Something that endures. There waits for us a hope greater than anything we know on this earth and that is the hope we find in Christ and in our place with Him in eternity. His resurrection has paved the way for our own. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we set our hopes on the world beyond this one.
Today, Christianity is divided. I’m not necessarily speaking about denominational differences because as long as a denomination is accurately presenting Jesus’ message of the Good News, there is no problem. The problem comes when people who call themselves “Christian” preach and teach a false gospel. Just as there were Jewish leaders who tried to challenge Jesus in his own time because they didn’t like what he was teaching, there are people today who don’t want to follow the totality of his message. We learn from Paul that there is “One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism, One Lord of All.” If this is true, then why do we consider one baptism more valid than another? If the Lord is Lord of all, then why do some claim to belong more to the Lord than others?
Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chastises them for their divisions saying, “I am of Paul and I am of Apollos,” etc. Paul reminds them that if they were baptized into Christ, that should be the end of it. It doesn’t matter who led you to Christ, it’s more important that we came to him. Let us work together to help end a spirit of division among all of us who are blessed to be baptized into Christ Jesus, our Lord.